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Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight


Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight / Aoibhneas Éilis Ní Cheallaigh (Slip Jig)


Elizabeth Kelly (1888 – 1964) (neé Keane) was John Kelly Senior’s Mother. Elizabeth was from a family of musicians and she herself was by all accounts a good concertina player. It was through her side of the family that John got the music. We know from John’s personal documents that most people called his mother Eliza.

Breandán Breathnach collected this tune from John Kelly Senior and it is in his book Ceol Rince na hÉireann, Cuid 1, as number 68, “Aoibhneas Éilis Ní Cheallaigh”.

Breandán writes about this tune: “Ona mháthair fuair an Ceallach é seo.” Which translates as “John got this tune from his mother.”

Credit: Personal collection of Michael Mulkerrins of Elizabeth Kelly & John Kelly Junior in approx. 1952/53.


John Kelly Senior talking about family and playing Elizabeth Kelly's Jig on the fiddle

“I learned this tune from my mother and her mother had it too. My mothers name was Elizabeth Keane and her mother was Mary Brennan from Scattery Island and the two of them had a rare type of lilting music.

My mother played the concertina of course but my grandmother didn’t play the concertina. She was a beautiful lilter and when I was a boy they lilted those tunes and I sat transfixed. It was like a boy that would be under a strange influence but they had a host as I thought anyway of strange tunes and this is one of them now.”

John Kelly 

Recording Details: Talk, “Reminsences of Clare Fiddle Players”

Location: Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Parochial Hall, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Date: July 7, 1975.

Credit: Recorded by Barry Taylor,  part of his book “Music in a Breeze of Wind” about music in West Clare. Link


Credit: From above recording.

Slip Jigs

Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight